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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels are mortal after all.

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If we are going to lose one on this homestand, better to get it out of the way before Texas comes to town and deny them the satisfaction. Now we can concentrate on embarrassing Hambone.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, so the Angels failed to sweep the Twins. At series start, my hope was to take 2 of 3, since the Twins are having a great year and we should not be fooled by the wins over Boston (who were also swept by Houston and have now lost 8 consecutive games). The Halos are far from perfect, and even teams that could be considered perfect lose boatloads of games. That's baseball.

But here is the great news: even though the Division lead shrunk back to a single game, we get the struggling Rangers for three at home while Houston goes to Kansas City. The odds are fantastic that we could be 4 games up the next time you hear from me.

I am off on PTO. Again. So we have an abbreviated post today. No history lesson. Just stick to links:

BEFORE WE JUMP INTO LINKS, SINCE I WILL BE OUT OF TOWN I WON'T BE ABLE TO GET INTO THIS APPROPRIATELY, I NEED TO ALERT YOU NOW.  EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT TOMORROW (SATURDAY) IS LADYBUG'S ELEVENTY-TWELFTH BIRTHDAY. LET HER HAVE IT, FOLKS!

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Angels Baseball

The Upcoming Series:

Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Colby Lewis (9-4, 4.63 ERA) versus TBA (but I guess Tropeano) FSW
SATURDAY 6:05 PM PDT Yovani Gallardo (7-9, 2.91 ERA) versus Hector Santiago (7-4, 2.30 ERA) FSW
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT Nick Martinez (5-5, 3.92 ERA) versus Andrew Heaney (4-0, 1.57 ERA) FSW





From the official team Game Notes: "RANGERS ON DECK: Halos lead 2015 series 7-2, sweeping three game series in Arlington last meeting…Angels are 21-7 in last 28 overall matchups…LAA is 14-2 in last 16 games in Arlington…In those 16 games at Globe Life Park, Angels have outscored Rangers 120-49…Halos claimed 2014 series 14-5…Halos’ 435 all-time wins vs. Texas are most vs. any opponent (435-411)…In 73 career games vs. Texas, Mike Trout has 59 R, 14 HR & 50 RBI…Kole Calhoun is 14 for 28 (.500; 2 HR, 11 RBI) in the 2015 season series…C.J. Cron is batting .433 (29/67) in 18 games against Rangers (4 HR, 17 RBI)."

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Hambonehead: Here we go. It's the unofficial Boo Weekend for the Boo Hoo Boy.  Never forget that this was the guy who went out and shat all over the ALDS batter's box, flailing away without any sense of import or urgency at all, and left all alone by the entirety of the teammates and coaches to stew in his own juices on the bench with playoff hopes on the line. And this was the same guy who walked away from all that dissing the fans for having the audacity to expect effort and execution in such an important moment, with such an important role, exacting what amounts to such an important share of the payroll pie.............

Matt Joyce: Newsflash! Joyce is in a "slump"!! The Angels lack offensive depth, and it's Joyce's slump that reveals this to us all. Now, the object of this term is the recent 0 for 21 streak. Such a thing is supposed to be considered a "slump" because such a thing should be a marked contrast to some normal, higher, success rate. The problem here is that Joyce has only 43 hits in 240 at-bats ALL SEASON! That works out to a mere 3.76 hits for every 21 at-bats all year long. The dude is averaging "slump".............

Fail: Here is a good way to measure the effectiveness of the LA Angels department of marketeers. You have two of the greatest players of our generation in your uniform to work with, in the second largest media market in the country, with several of the richest neighborhoods in America surrounding your stadium as your base. So with that advantageous head start, how many jerseys of other players will you allow to outsell you? Apparently, the acceptable answer is "plenty". The MLB announced jersey sales, and Mike Trout's jersey comes in 7th, with Albert Pujols' jersey claiming 18th. Kris Bryant, in the league a whopping on half of one season and about to be lapped for a second time in fWAR by Trout, is outselling everyone but Bumgarner  Pujols is behind guys like Matt Harvey and Anthony Rizzo and Todd Frazier and David Wright. You can come up with all kinds of excuses for this, but they are just that - excuses. And I'll bet the LAA marketing poops are better at those excuses than you are...........

Win: Hector Santiago got to play catch with Warren Moon as Moon threw out the first pitch yesterday. Afterward they traded autographs, with Santiago handing over a baseball and getting back a football. A football with the actual autograph of NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon? All for playing catch with one of he greatest pro quarterbacks of all time? Yeah, call this one a win for Hector..............

Mike Trout: Trout will be featured on the July 31st edition of Before the Bigs on Fox Sports  West. FSW has a preview up now...........

Grant Green: To make room for the Nick Tropeano I mentioned above, Grant Green was optioned back to Salt Lake. Anybody else noticing that the franchise is racking up a lot of miles between SNA and SLC??..............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Open for Business: Laugh it up, fuzzball! But Scott Kazmir going to Houston is serious news, even for LAA fans. It improves Houston (by one full win) and disrupts the markets for Cueto, Hamels and Samardzija by lowering the needs of one of the top buyers considerably. It also, by the way, signals that Billy Beane is selling. Merchants and consumers everywhere need to up their games...........

Ugly: Colin Cowherd stepped into a large puddle of his own B.S. yesterday, pretty much declaring that baseball is not necessarily a thinking person's game and cites as evidence the fact that Dominican Republic citizens excel at baseball. Not even an implication there, as Cowherd later comes right out and states "The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities." This has not sat well with MLBPA in general, nor with Juan Bautista in particular. Between Cowherd and Bautista, my money is on Bautista...........

Puig is a Piker: The world has a new bat flip champion, and he is a high school kid from Japan: "Without trying to use too many cultural cliches, the batter looks a martial artist with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. There's all of the stretching, and the jumping, and the other physical gymnastics inside of the batter's box..."America may never be ready enough for this giant among artists.............

Beans: Sometimes the synergy between articles is just too rich to pass up. Normally I wouldn't get too far into the news surrounding the latest escapade coming from the Diamondbacks and their recent tradition of throwing at batters. Yesterday Marlins' pitcher Jose Fernandez lost control of an inside fastball and the pitch clocked Dbacks batter David Peralta in the head. It's obvious that it was completely accidental and Fernandez was sick about it. Not good enough for the DoucheBacks, as Dominic Leone comes right out and plunks Christian Yelich. Ejected. Complaints, Arguing, Whining. And then Dbacks relief pitcher Daniel Hudson goes off on a wild-ass tangent, claiming that we all need to ignore the recent history and stop blaming Arizona because recent history is, you know, history. And besides, everybody does it. First off, in the Fernandez video it's obvious that the DBacks bench is barking loudly and needs to be shut down by the plate ump, who even tosses somebody. So Arizona was on patrol instinctively, and immediately. That's not history there, that's current. But, here is where the synergy part comes in. Right when I was thinking that Arizona was just a bunch of hot-headed ass-hats unlike anything I had ever seen, and to be ignored, along came this look back at the Nasty Boys that were also known as the Cincinnati Reds of the 1990's. Featuring, in this clip, none other than Rob Dibble deliberately throwing at a baserunner for bunting. And Dibble gives up a bullshit excuse of his own, how he was reacting to the Cubs trying to score an insurance run, of all things (an insurance run that would later prove to be necessary)....Yeah, these Diamondbacks come from a long line of jerks..........

Dog Days: Yesterday was National Hot Dog Day and MLB teams featured their specialties. I am not a food snob, so I love me some hot dog. But the Nolan Ryan Beef Firework Frank is one large step beyond anything my goggles can protect me from. It looks like those ancient menu photos taped to the walls of that neighborhood independent fast food dive...............

Baseball Biz: The FCC is almost ready to Ok the merger between ATT Uverse and DirectTV. Why is this news in a baseball blog? Because it creates the largest pay-per-view service in America, and it does it out of the two primary challengers to the Dodgers regional sports network. Things like this impact prices for all of us, and product availability...........

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